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Articles Home » 1995 Articles » Dean, Donald - 1995 Nightshift
Dean, Donald - 1995 Nightshift

ARTIST: Dean, Donald
ALBUM: Nightshift
LABEL: Little Fox Records
SERIAL: 21475-2
YEAR: 1995


LINEUP: Donald Dean - vocals, guitars

Previous members: Jay Rowe - keyboards * Richard Klotz - bass

TRACK LISTING: 01 Don't Tell Me * 02 Cryin' In The Night * 03 Follow Your Dream * 04 Athena * 05 The Other Side * 06 Your Disguise * 07 Since I've Been Loving You * 08 Carved In Stone * 09 Running From The Law * 10 Now's The Time * 11 If You're Lucky * 12 Running From The Law (alternate)

Donald Dean has been around the L.A music scene for many years, but hasn't populated the market with his musical material except for this one album 'Nightshift'. The CD, released in 1995 was in fact an accumulation of songs which go back as far as 1983! Dean, originally from Kansas, moved to Los Angeles back in 1985, and like so many budding artists, saw Tinseltown as a vehicle to promote his music. The results were mixed, his melodic hard rock style not striking a chord with Record Execs at the time. It's not exactly AOR, and not exactly heavy enough to be guitar-oriented hard rock either. It sort of sat half-way, and perhaps for Execs, therein lay the problem. To my ears, the songs lacked that 'hooky-ness' which makes this genre so captivating, and the vocals didn't light my fire either. When compared to others of the genre (Sabu, Jeff Paris, Bobby Friss etc), 'Nightshift' sits slightly below, though the energy and commitment of all involved is 100% there.

The Songs
'Don't Tell Me' is an encouraging start, and powers up in the vein of Jeff Paris, not to be outdone 'Cryin' In The Night' keeps up the good work following into track two. 'Follow Your Dream' starts out as if we're listening to Sabu weaving his magic, not a bad track, and does chop and change the tempo a bit. 'You're Disguise' is probably the heaviest track on offer, the galloping guitars and thick synths combining for a big sound. 'Nows The Time' is similar, fast chugga guitars amid a Sabu like arrangement. 'Since I've Been Lovin' You' takes on a Sic Vikki like persona, while Dean also gives us two versions of 'Running From The Law' - the first a rockier version, the second a power/pop rendition thereof.

In Summary
'Nightshift' can easily be obtained on the Internet via the CD Baby website at a very reasonable price. As at 2006 Dean is still out there playing somewhere in California, hopefully his repetoire will have been updated somewhat as many of these songs are true remnants of the eighties, and probably best left there. Still, a good cross section of his ideas and music coming together under the banner of one CD.

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